Other Ag News: Release: USDA Updates Good Farming Practice Definition, Strengthening Support for Conservation Practice Adoption
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Tel. 347.563.6408Release: USDA Updates Good Farming Practice Definition, Strengthening Support for Conservation Practice Adoption
Washington, DC, December 6, 2023 – Today, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced important updates to the definition of Good Farming Practices (GFPs), removing a longstanding obstacle to the adoption of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)-approved conservation practices and enhancements for insured producers.
“The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) applauds this decision from RMA to update the definition for GFPs, which has been a priority for our coalition members for more than a decade,” said Billy Hackett, NSAC Policy Specialist. “This represents an important step that removes a persistent disincentive against the voluntary adoption of good soil health practices for farmers enrolled in the crop insurance program, or seeking enrollment.”
Previously, the Good Farming Practices Handbook recognized NRCS conservation practices as GFPs “provided” that practices did not negatively impact a crop’s ability to make normal progress toward maturity or affect yields in any way. It is, however, customary that farmers experience temporary yield drags when adopting a new conservation practice. The updated handbook removes this condition, affirming the appropriate use of USDA-approved conservation practices as Good Farming Practices for crop insurance.
“RMA continues to make notable regulatory improvements in service to the diversity of American farmers,” continued Hackett. “There is more work to be done, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the agency toward continued improvements for the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program, enhanced collaboration with the Farm Service Agency, and improved cover crop termination guidance to better serve producers that are underserved by the farm safety net.”
“This is a victory for common sense, consistent support for conservation across government,” added Jesse Womack, NSAC’s Conservation Policy Specialist.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net